EDITOR’S NOTE: The EOC held a full meeting yesterday at 1:00 p.m. at the Blatt Building in Columbia. Recommendations to the budget were made at this meeting.
Columbia – As required by state law, the Education Oversight Committee today approved budget recommendations for Fiscal Year 2018-19. These recommendations focus on the revenues generated by the one-cent sales tax, the Education Improvement Act. The committee’s recommendations are dedicated to improving educational opportunities for students and to supporting the teaching profession. These recommendations will be forwarded to the Governor and General Assembly for their consideration in the upcoming budget deliberations.
Members met throughout the fall, reviewing and hearing public comment on the budget needs. In Fiscal Year 2018-19 the penny sales tax is expected to generate a total of $837 million, or an increase of $39.8 million, dedicated solely to public education. The additional requests totaled $88.6 million.
“The committee had to prioritize state funding to the most critical tasks facing our schools today – ensuring that all students graduate college, career and citizenship ready and that we work to strengthen the teaching profession,” stated Dr. Bob Couch, chair of subcommittee that brought forth the recommendation to the EOC and newly elected Vice-Chairman of the EOC.
“Fixing the teacher shortage in our state will take more than money,” stated Couch, an Anderson educator.” “The working conditions of educators cannot be overlooked, and are often a better indicator of why teachers leave the classroom.” The EOC recommendations include the implementation of a statewide survey among teachers of working conditions.
The Committee’s budget recommendations for the EIA are summarized below:
Strengthening the Teaching Profession
Improving Student Outcomes
The SC Education Oversight Committee is an independent, non-partisan group made up of 18 educators, business persons, and elected leaders. Created in 1998, the committee is dedicated to reporting facts, measuring change, and promoting progress within South Carolina’s education system.